Texas Tech University System Embarks on the 87th Texas Legislative Session
Jan. 12, 2021 | Contact: Scott Lacefield
Today marks the beginning of the 87th Texas Legislature in Austin as elected officials and legislative leaders will convene for 140 consecutive days to form decisions for the state’s next biennium, which affects many areas, including Texas public higher education.
The Texas Tech University System and its four institutions, Texas Tech University, Angelo State University, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center and Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso, have developed strategic priorities to present to lawmakers in addition to focusing on higher education policies and broad-based funding.
“We appreciate the hard work of our lawmakers and we thank our dedicated West Texas legislative delegation for the representation our System and institutions have in Austin,” said Tedd L. Mitchell, M.D., chancellor of the TTU System. “This will be a financially focused legislative session and will look significantly different from those in the past.
“Our universities have identified strategic priorities that align closely with the missions of our institutions and the needs of the areas we serve. Among our various legislative priorities, we are excited to continue pursuing a partnership with Midwestern State University to become the fifth component institution of the Texas Tech University System.”
In 2020, the TTU System began a formal process to explore the possibility of MSU Texas joining the TTU System. The Boards of Regents for both MSU Texas and the TTU System have approved a memorandum of understanding that established priorities and an agreement for a partnership, pending legislative action and approval during the legislative session.
Among the top priorities for the TTU System is maintaining formula and research funding along with support for exceptional items, which include the following for each university:
Texas Tech University:
- Continue support of the Texas Tech University School of Veterinary Medicine
Angelo State University:
- Support cybersecurity and artificial intelligence initiative
Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center:
- Support university research, telehealth, formula funding and graduate medical education along with rural health
Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso:
- Continue the support of the Woody L. Hunt School of Dental Medicine
The 87th Texas Legislature is scheduled to conclude May 31, 2021.
About the Texas Tech University System
Established in 1996 and headquartered in Lubbock, Texas, the Texas Tech University System is a $2 billion higher education enterprise focused on advancing higher education, health care, research and community outreach. Consisting of four universities – Texas Tech University, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Angelo State University and Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso – the TTU System collectively has approximately 57,000 students, 21 academic locations in 18 cities (16 in Texas, 2 internationally), more than 300,000 alumni and an endowment valued at over $1.3 billion.
During the 86th Texas Legislature under the leadership of Chancellor Tedd L. Mitchell, M.D., legislative funding and authority was provided to establish a new Texas Tech University veterinary school in Amarillo and a new dental school at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso. This will be the state’s first veterinary school in more than a century and first dental school in over 50 years. The addition of these two schools makes the Texas Tech University System one of only nine in the nation to offer programs for undergraduate, medical, law, nursing, pharmacy, dental and veterinary education, among other academic areas.